Her Lovely Heart: Remember Why You Started Your Business
October 9 2014

I am honured and super excited to be the new guest blogger for Her Lovely Heart a resource which aims to inspire and encourage photographers and other artists in the pursuit of running their own businesses.

Marianne Taylor and her fabulous team help keep your creative juices flowing and your eyes fed with colour and beauty whilst sharing practical tips and priceless advice to help your business grow from strength to strength.

If you have dreamt of building a business around your passion, or are already self-employed and trying to embrace staying focused and inspired, then Her Lovely Heart is the place for you.

In my first post I talk about the importance of remembering the reason why you are self-employed in the first place, and of always navigating by your own values …

If you had to choose one word to sum up the reason why you decided to become self-employed what would it be? Mine is freedom. The freedom of choice, time, and creativity, but the most importantly the freedom to come and go as I please. The freedom to travel. To say I love traveling is some what of an understatement. I am a modern day nomad who is at their happiest when either swimming in the Pacific Ocean, exploring the streets of a European city, or watching the sun set over the an island in the Caribbean.

As a  wedding photographer, my main season is generally from May till October. This leaves the winter months in the UK, but more importantly the summer months in my favourite destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and my new happy place Fiji, free for me to travel. Therefore I choose to only book weddings, as well as arrange fashion and bridal shoots, during the warmer months of the Northern hemisphere, allowing me to travel for up to three months from December to March.

I believe life is all about choices and that being self-employed is a lifestyle rather than a job. It is important you choose to create a business that suits your lifestyle, rather than the other way around. As freedom is my main reason for being self-employed, the choices I make on how I run my business all revolve around this.

However, life has a knack of distracting us from our purpose, ambitions and goals. Then before you know it the pros of being self-employed, the very reason you started, have been over shadowed by what may be deemed as the cons of being self-employed. Such as working weekends, an inconsistent income, or high levels of responsibility.  At times when you may feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated, and somewhat of a moaning mini, it is vital to reflect on why you started. Take a step back, gain some perspective and then be kind to yourself.

One way I do this is by writing a gratitude list. I begin by jotting down ten things I am grateful for, as a direct result of being self-employed such as:

  • I have the choice, unlike Dolly Parton, and don’t have to work from 9 to 5, which means I can take the afternoon off if I choose to
  • I am free to go to the gym when it is at it’s most quiet, while everyone else is commuting during rush hour
  • I can turn my terrace into my office for the day during the summer if I so wish

The list is endless and I bet once you get started with yours you can think of way more than ten. After you have completed your list, choose one of the points and do it there and then, all the time revelling in the fact that you made a life choice that enables you to do this activity. Be proud of yourself.

I recently found a new word which sums up my reason for being self-employed:

Eleutheromania (n.) an intense and irresistible desire for freedom

It can sometimes be hard to stay motivated when running your own business, but by concentrating on the reasons why you started often and regularly makes it so much easier. We would love to hear why you started and what keeps you motivated?